L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Cruising on NH-1 may be a long wait
Shortage of raw material forces company to stop construction 
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
Wait for a speedy drive on the National Highway No. 1 might get longer as the ongoing construction of the six-laning of the highway has been stopped. Company officials claim that they have been "forced" to stop the work due to non-availability of construction material since mining has been banned in the state.

The company has stopped work despite the fact that the project is being closely monitored by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. This means that the project is unlikely to meet the court completion deadline for March 31, 2013.

As per information, it has been about a month since the company stopped work on the Rs 4,500-crore project.

"We have no option but to stop the construction. Sand and gravel are one of the most important components in construction and if we don't get them, we can't go ahead. There has been an acute shortage of construction material for the last six to eight months. Somehow, we managed to get some sand and gravel from neighbouring states, but the cost of construction has increased due to that," said a senior official of the company.

Company officials claim that almost 80 per cent of the work is complete. "We are willing to complete the project by March 31, 2013, but we need regular supply of construction material," said the official.

In April this year, the Punjab and Haryana High Court took up the matter and the company filed an affidavit promising to complete the highway stretches in Haryana by December 2012 and those in Punjab by March 2013.

Sources said the company was also facing some financial crunch, for which it had applied for a bank loan worth Rs 160 crore. "As the construction costs escalated due to irregular supply of construction material, the company is in the process of getting a bank loan," said a senior district administration official.

Rs 50-cr penalty could be imposed

The company was to complete the project by November 2011. They are already running behind schedule and now the High Court has set a deadline and the Secretary, Public Works Department, has been appointed nodal officer. In case of non-compliance, a penalty of Rs 50 crore will be imposed on the concessionaire, and another penalty of Rs 5 crore wi]ll be slapped on the director of the concessionaire. The duty of the district administration was to get the encroachments removed, which we have already done. If there is any delay, the company might have to face contempt of court. If the company is facing problems, it can contact the Secretary.

— Rahul Tewari, Deputy Commissioner


Brick-kiln owners suspend work; prices of bricks shoot up
Ministry has made environment clearance mandatory
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
The price of construction material is heading north ever since brick-kilns in the state have suspended work. The cost of construction has suddenly increased and those building their houses are in deep trouble.

The prices of sand, gravel and bricks have shot up by at least 30 per cent since restriction has been imposed on mining following a Supreme Court order enforcing new environmental control guidelines issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forest.

Gurmukh Singh, a contractor, said the prices of bricks had increased manifold. The price of A grade brick had gone up from Rs 3.50-Rs 5 a piece to Rs 4.50-Rs 5.50. The cost of B grade variety is up from Rs 3.25-Rs 4 to Rs 3.75-Rs 4.25.

"The brick-kiln industry is in a crisis. The government and courts want us to get environment clearance due to which we have suspended work. Nearly 3,000 brick-kiln units in Punjab are on the verge of closure as the new notification issued by the government has given a severe blow to the industry," said Kuldeep Makkar, president of the Punjab Brick-kiln Owners Association.

"We will resume operations only after obtaining environmental clearance which may take six to nine months and can lead to an unprecedented escalation in the prices of bricks and scarcity as well. Earlier, the brick-kiln industry was operational on mining less than five hectares which did not require clearance. But now according to the new notification, clearance is required even in less than five hectares of land," he added.

Another contractor said many people had suspended construction activity due to rising prices and waiting for them to come down. "In case the work by brick-kiln owners stand suspended, the prices of bricks will rise further and the stocks will also be exhausted shortly," he said.

While those in the process of building their houses have started stocking up raw material. "Since the price of bricks is going up, I am buying the bricks in bulk as they will be required in the future also," said Vivek, who is constructing his house in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar.



Power crisis
Some relief likely in next two days
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 26
Power crisis gripping the city for the last over a month is expected to ease a bit in the next 48 hours as the defective 100 MVA transformer at the 220 KV Ferozepur Road substation is likely to become operational. The repair/reconstruction work of the transformer is complete and final testing will be conducted tomorrow.

"Work on equipment is in the final phase and the transformer is likely to be brought back in the transmission system by tomorrow or the day after," CS Mann, engineer-in-chief of Punjab State Transmission Corporation Limited said today.

According to senior officials of the PSPCL, the demand for electricity in the city is met through five 100 MVA transformers -- two each at Humbran and Lalton Kalan and one at Ferozepur Road substations. And with one of these becoming non-operational, the city is short of 20 per cent power which necessitates power cuts and load-shedding at feeders by rotation.

However, residents complain that even if unscheduled power cuts are imposed for a duration of four to six hours every day in almost all residential localities, frequent line faults and equipment failure due to poor maintenance and persistently high temperature, further add to their misery with no respite during the day or night.

To make matters worse, line faults caused due to equipment failure or weather conditions are not rectified in time, and especially during night, people keep calling the customer helpline for hours without much response.

Reports received from several posh and other residential areas say that in some parts of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar and Haibowal, there was no power for most part of last night whereas major portion of Civil Lines remained powerless for over seven hours on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday. "And these instances of extended power failure are in addition to unscheduled cuts imposed during the day," indignant residents of Civil Lines said.

Almost without exception, residents in the city localities also face acute scarcity of water due to erratic and inadequate power supply which affects working of tube wells. "On the one hand, top government functionaries do not let any opportunity go to make tall claims of making the state power surplus, but on the other hand, people in the city are made to go without power and water supply in such harsh weather conditions," remarked Inderpal Singh, a resident of Chhawni Mohalla.



No austerity steps in govt offices
Staff using heaters to make tea
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
The state is reeling under acute power shortage, but officials of government offices, including the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, District Education Office (Secondary), and other departments, are using heaters for making tea or warming lunch in their respective offices.

With the mercury rising and no rain, the usage of electricity has increased manifold. Every day, the city witnesses at least five to six hours of power cut and the frequency increases on some days.

A single heater is minimum of 1,000 watts or 1 kilowatt and consumes a lot of electricity. The heaters can be replaced with LPG cylinders to make tea or warm food. But instead of urging its staff to check the use of heaters, senior officials have turned a blind eye towards the wastage of power.

A visit to the Municipal Corporation's Zone A office reveals that officials are openly using the heaters for tea. When The Tribune lensman took a photograph, no one objected to it. Such heaters are used in other MC offices as well.

An MC official said they had been preparing tea using these heaters for several years. "We don't see any harm in it as we make tea only two-three times in a day. The tea we get from a nearby tea stall is not of good quality and so, we are forced to make our own tea," he said, requesting anonymity.

Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal said it was the moral duty of the staff to not use the heaters, especially when there was shortage of electricity. "I myself have given strict instructions to my staff that they should not switch on the fan or air-conditioner whenever I am not in office. If any MC official is using heaters for preparing tea or any other purposes, he should stop doing so because we are already facing shortage of electricity," he said.

In April 2001, when Punjab Agricultural University was facing serious shortage of funds, the then Vice-Chancellor, Dr Kirpal Singh Aulakh, had initiated a serious austerity drive by cutting short wasteful expenses on electricity consumption in the form of removal of air-conditioners, stopping unchecked use of official cars and even the use of heaters.



Industry production down 35 per cent, courtesy outages
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
The shortage of power in the state has come as a double whammy for the industry. Already, the slowdown has affected the industry to the extent of 50 per cent and due to power shortage the production has gone down by another 35 per cent.

The industry is unable to deliver orders on time. Power cuts and two compulsory weekly offs for the industry have left city industrialists high and dry. Nearly 35 per cent of the production has gone down due to the power situation in the city.

"The government has fallen flat on all its commitments and cuts are a trend these days. Though many industries are using generators, due to the high fuel prices even that is a costlier option," Gursevak Singh, owner of an electroplating unit said.

The steel cluster at Mandi Gobindgarh, with nearly 1,000 small and medium scale units, register a shutdown often and the huge power requirement of steel furnaces cannot be met through generator sets.

"Two years ago, the industry in Punjab was provided with the option of open access under the open access scheme of the Central Government. There was no power shortage for the industry for two years, but a few months ago, the Punjab government imposed Rs 1.6 per unit charges on the power arranged under the open access scheme, which has discouraged the industry to purchase power from sources other than state utilities," said KL Jain, owner of an induction furnace at Mandi Gobindgarh.

In the present scenario, where two compulsory weekly offs have been imposed on the industry other than the unscheduled power cuts, the industry had to cut down the production by 25 to 35 per cent, he added.

Labourers suffer the most in such a situation as over 50 per cent of the shop floor manpower in the steel industry are daily wagers. "The hand tool industry is suffering a 40 per cent drop in orders due to the Euro zone crisis. Further, power shortage is affecting orders. We can't sustain on generators as the operating cost is about Rs 12-13 per unit," added Munish Garg, another unit owner.



Threat due to construction of overbridge
NHAI springs into action
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, June 26
The National Highway Authority of India sprung into action today after the issue pertaining to the safety of residents due to the ongoing construction of an overbridge was highlighted in the columns of The Tribune a few days ago.

Rajesh Kumar Kundal, project director, NHAI, when contacted said, "Apart from issuing instructions and warnings to the contractor concerned, I immediately asked him to either affix tightly-clipped iron boards all around the area dug up for the construction of the overbridge or face the music. We are not going to provide facilities to commuters at the risk of anybody's life.

Moreover, from today, the work is going to be resumed at a large scale. Earlier, too, I had received several complaints in this regard."

The company that was assigned the work of road extension had dug up deep ditches for erection of a foot

overbridge at the bus stand of Doraha. But that particular spot had resulted in a number of mishaps since no safety caution had been sounded at the place and many residents were caught unawares, thus endangering their lives in the process.



Near-collapsing bridges dangerous
Pose risk to lives of commuters; no action has been taken to repair them so far
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, June 26
Notwithstanding the tall claims of the state government about infrastructural development that was carried out by it in the past five years, a large number of bridges built over canals, drains and other water channels in Jagraon are a shambles posing a threat to the lives of commuters.

Several bridges constructed over the canals and drains at various link roads connecting several villages with Jagraon have been lying neglected despite the fact that these bridges have been in a dilapidated condition for a long time.

A majority of these bridges, including the one over Sirhind Feeder Canal situated on Jagraon-Raikot Road near Akhara village, are considered one of the busiest bridges in the area. These were constructed during the British rule and now needed urgent reconstruction. But these bridges have not even been repaired.

Most of these bridges are in a bad shape and can collapse any time. They need immediate repairs but the government has so far had paid any attention. They pose risk to the lives of the commuters.

Area residents say the bridges have been in a very bad condition and need reconstruction. "Though we have been repeatedly asking the state government to at least repair these bridges, but nothing has been done in this regard so far. These bridges may fall any time if not reconstructed or repaired at the earliest," complained Gurdeep Singh, a resident of Sohian village near Jagraon.

The condition of the bridges built over drains situated on the Jagraon-Gagara link road, Raikot bypass, Jagraon-Mallha link road, Jagraon-Hehran link road, the bridge over Sirhind Feeder canal situated on the Jagraon-Raikot road and some other bridges may collapse any time.

The investigation carried out by The Tribune in this regard revealed that the condition of most of the bridges on various link roads is bad. Some of the bridges have developed cracks and there is no railing on most of the bridges which poses danger to the lives of the commuters.

Everyday, hundreds of people cross these bridges to reach their destinations and are under immense tension while crossing these.

The absence of railing on many of these bridges has led to several accidents in the past and many people have lost their lives in such accidents. Only a couple of weeks ago, one person was seriously injured when the car he was travelling in fell into the drain on the Jagraon-Gagra link road while he was crossing the bridge in absence of railing. In yet another accident, about three months ago, more than 10 persons were injured after a three-wheeler ferrying them fell into the drain at Jagraon-Hehran Road while crossing from the bridge.

The area residents have urged the state government to reconstruct or at least repair the damaged bridges so that such kinds of accidents are averted in future. 

Official speaks

A proposal to repair some of the bridges that need immediate repair has been sent to the state government for approval. As soon as the proposal is approved and funds are received we will start the work.

Gurmel Singh, Punjab Mandi Board Secretary



Complainants to get respite soon
Police complaints to be addressed under one roof
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
In a bid to bring respite to complainants, who keep shuttling from one office of police official to another to lodge their complaints, Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh has devised a plan to address the complaints under one roof.

If everything goes as planned then from next week onwards, all Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (ADCPs') and Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACPs) deployed in the city will sit in a common conference room to address the complaints of the residents.

According the plan, the entire team led by Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh and Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashish Choudhary will sit in a conference hall for two hours thrice a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday).

The move has been made for the timely redressal of the complaints.

"It has been observed that time goes waste after the complaint is moved form my office and reached the official concerned for investigation. In order to speed up the investigation process we have planned that for two hours ( thrice a week) all the ADCPs and ACPs will sit in a conference hall, hear the complaints, and directly hand them over to the official concerned. This will save both time and journey of the complainant," said Ishwar Sigh.

Sources said the officials were pondering over the idea of conducting the weekly public meeting at the police lines located on the backyard of SCD Government College for Boys, as the Mini- Secretariat, where the office of the Commissioner of Police is located, is overcrowed during the week days.

The sources also said that the complainants would narrate the entire matter to the officials concerned in the presence of the Commissioner of Police so that timely action could be taken.



Traffic policemen tow away vehicle of health officer 
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
Continuing its tow away campaign for wrong parking, the traffic police today towed away the official vehicle of Dr A K Handa, Deputy Medical Commissioner, Ludhiana.

According to sources, "The offcial vehicle allotted to Dr A K Handa was parked wrongly at the Mini-Secretariat, following which the traffic police personnel towed it away to the police lines."

Confirming the incident Handa said, "I went there for a departmental meeting of the Rashtriya Swastthya Beema Yojna. I am not aware as to where my driver parked the car. I came to know of it only after the meeting was over."

He said that he was taken by surprise when he found that his official vehicle was not there. He said, "I asked my driver about the vehicle and he told me that as the car was parked wrongly, it had been towed away by the traffic police. Following which he went to the police lines and got it released after showing all the original documents of the vehicle and his driving license."

A few days ago, the traffic police towed away the vehicle of a trainee IAS officer from the Mini-Secretariat for wrong parking.

Sources said the offcial vehicle allotted to Dr A K Handa was parked wrongly at the Mini-Secretariat, following which the traffic police personnel towed it away to the Police Lines.

However, the health official said he was taken by surprise when he found that his official vehicle was not there



Plays mark day against drug abuse

Ludhiana, June 26
The police today organised theatre plays and nukkad nataks to mark International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking here today.

While SHO Daba Jatinderjit invited theatre personalities from Amritsar for a play at Daba-Lohara area, SHO of Model Town Ashok Kumar, along with members of the market association, visited residents and sought their support to curb the menace.

"Theatre has always remained a crowd-puller. I was impressed to see a huge turnout at a play organised by the Shimlapuri police station last evening. Therefore, today we staged a similar play at Daba area to spread awareness on drug abuse. — TNS



Residents apprised of ill-effects of drugs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
To mark International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Tafficking, the health department today organised a function at Punjabi Bhawan. It was presided over by Dr Subhash Batta, Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana.

Representatives of many non government organizations, senior medical officers of different blocks also participated in it.

On the occasion, an exhibition based on the theme of drug addiction was also organised. Diferent speakers shared their views on the subject. Professor Darshan Singh a representative from Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, spoke at length as to how gurubani could save people from drugs.

Karamjit Grewal, a schoolteacher and Punjabi poet, recited his poem on the subject to make the audience aware of the ill effects of drugs on society. However, Dr SS Dhir shared his views on oboid substitute therapy. A drug addict shared his experiences as to how he overcame addiction. Dr U S Sooch spoke on drug addiction and AIDS. Dr Inderjeet representative, from an NGO,appealed to the public in general to help drug addicts shun addiction.



Truck drivers vow to shun drugs
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 26
Realising that mixing of liquor with driving was fatal for occupants of vehicles and those living in buildings situated along roads and highways, drivers and owners of trucks registered with the Truck Operators Union, Pohir, vowed to shun drugs and narcotics.

An oath was taken in response to the call given by police officials of Gill during a seminar organised at Pohir under the supervision of Gurpreet Singh Sikand, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Gill, today.

Over 200 participants, including truck operators, drivers and their helpers, led by president of the Pohir Truck Union, vowed to abstain from the use of drugs and narcotics and consumption of liquor.

Dehlon SHO Amandeep Singh Brar administered the oath. Sikand said the SHOs working at all police stations under his jurisdiction had been advised to organise awareness camps and seminars in truck and taxi union offices of their respective areas. 



Workshop on ‘beema yojna’

Ludhiana, June 26
The health department organised a district-level workshop on Rashtriya Swastthaya Beema Yojna at Bachat Bhawan here today. It was presided over by Additional Deputy Commissioner (development) Rishi Pal, state nodal officer of the project Saroj Nain, Ludhiana Civil Surgeon Dr Subahsh Batta and Deputy Medical Commissioner Dr AK Handa.

The workshop was attended by senior medical officers of different blocks, block development officers and representatives of the social security and child welfare department. Dr Subhash Batta said health officers should take the help of ANMs and Asha workers to make BPL families aware of the scheme so that maximum people could avail the benefit. — TNS



Harrowing time for licence seekers
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
Applicants seeking driver’s licence have been facing inconvenience at the District Transport Office as out of the five ceiling fans installed in the office, four have been lying defunct.

Visitors to the District Transport Office(DTO) are already facing the wrath of hot weather as temperature is above 42 degree Celsius and have no option but to stand for hours together in the hot and humid environment there.

Moreover, there is a small shelter available outside the licence application submission counter and delivery window. Most of the time long queues can be seen at these two counters.

"It is a long process to get a licence from the District Transport Office made. The applicants have to visit here at least three to four times and have to face the same inconvenience every time. Employees of the department are sitting in the air-conditioned cabins so they cannot understand our problem", said Harpreet Singh, a visitor at the DTO.

"Five fans have been installed in the shelter, but only one is functioning. Everyone wants to stand under the fan, but it is impossible for all to do so. The authorities should get these fans repaired for the convenience of the public", said Gurdev, another visitor.

Manpreet Singh Chatwal, District Transport Officer, said, "I am aware about the condition of fans and have already written to the electricity wing to replace these . It is true that people have been facing inconvenience due to dysfunctional fans. We will replace them within one or two days".

Talking about the absence of shelter, Chatwal said, "Shelter is required for the applicants. The department made nine counters to cater to the applicants, but these too seem to be insufficient as residents from all over the city come to apply for licences at the DTO ".



Smooth flow of traffic
Industry lauds job of traffic police
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
The industry has hailed the decision of the traffic police in easing out the traffic congestion in the city. The police has put in efforts to smoothen the traffic, reduce congestion and reduce chances of accidents.

"The two new bridges on Dhuri Phatak and Partap chowk have facilitated the traffic immensely. However, this could not have been done without reducing the number of gaps in the verges. The benefit of the bridges was nullified due to many gaps in the verges. The industry has been requesting the police to reduce the number of gaps. We are grateful to the police for reducing these gaps. Earlier, too many cuts were responsible for the congestion in the traffic," said PD Sharma, president of the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Meanwhile, Upkar Singh, joint secretary, CICU, has appealed and requested the residents of Ludhiana to cooperate with the traffic police for streamlining the smooth running of traffic.

He said that the traffic police should coordinate and impose strict measures to avoid traffic snarls. They should also enforce the use of lanes, especially where passenger underpasses are being constructed. With it, light vehicles can ply the service lane, decongesting the main stretch. The traffic department with the help of the municipal corporation officials should close the unwanted cuts on the main roads, which will provide smooth flow of traffic.



Auction of canteens on July 6

Ludhiana, June 26
For better functioning of canteens at the Sub-Registrar Office (West and South), the district administration has decided to put them under contract.

SDM West Kuljitpal Singh Mahi in a press note issued today said that the auction of the canteens will be conducted on July 6 at 10 am at the Sub-Registrar (West) office. Interested persons can take part in the auction by depositing the security amount, said Mahi. He further added that for more information, interested persons could contact the SDM office during any working day. He said, "The step was being taken to provide better facilities to the public ". — TNS



PSEB fails to release list of pass percentage
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
The Punjab School Education Board has not released the list of subject wise pass percentage of first semester of classes X and XII so far.

The board did not send the same to government schools and also failed to update it on its website.

As a result, teachers have failed to evaluate their performance.

They have not prepared the Annual Confidential Reports (ACR) as yet.

Earlier, the board used to update the subject wise list of pass percentage on its website and send hard copies to schools, but this time the authorities seem to have forgotten to do the same.

The list is required to evaluate the performance of teachers by comparing it with the pass percentage of each subject.

Gurbeer Singh, a mathematics teacher in a government school, said, "We work hard through out the year for good results. When our students score well in final exams we also feel happy. For self-motivation, a teacher needs the data of subject wise pass percentage. But we don't know why the board authorities have not released the list so far."

Sukhdarshan Singh, a science teacher in a local government school, said, "Headmasters and principals are also waiting for these lists as they are not able to compile the Annual Confidential Reports (ACR) of teachers."

Suresh Tandon, vice-chairman, Punjab School Education Board, Mohali, said, "We have uploaded the list of pass percentage of Class X second semester on the website. I will check the status of Class XII subject wise pass percentage list."

y Earlier, the board used to update the subject wise list of pass percentage on its website and send hard copies to schools, but this time the authorities seem to have forgotten to do the samex



NCC cadets take out rally against drug abuse
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
The NCC cadets of 3 Punjab Battalion (Boys) organised a rally against drug abuse to mark International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking here today. Four ANOs/caretakers, seven Junior Commissioned Officers, 11 NCOs and 220 NCC cadets participated in the rally. A lecturer on drug abuse and illicit trafficking was also delivered. While addressing cadets, Brig SS gill, Group Commander, NCC group, motivated cadets to wage a war against social evils of society.

The cadets were apprised of ill-effects of drugs. 



GADVASU to conduct CET today

Ludhiana, June 26
Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) will conduct the Common Entrance Test (CET) on Wednesday. RS Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, Model Town, and College of Veterinary Science, GADVASU, will be the examination centres.

Dr PD Juyal, Registrar, GADVASU, said in order to expedite the process, roll number-cum-admit cards had been dispatched to all candidates. All arrangements for the examination had been completed and a large number of faculty members and employees had been deputed for the smooth conduct of the examination.

Dr S Prabhakar, Controller of Examination, stated that a total of 1,880 candidates were expected to appear in the entrance test. The number of applicants had witnessed an increase as compared to the last year. The date for the first counselling for BVSc & AH and BFSc will be July 17, 2012, while for BTech (dairy technology) it will be July 18. — TNS



College notes

Job fair
A job fair will be organised at Ludhiana College of Engineering and Technology (LCET) on June 27. Companies such as Pic N Frames Technologies, Bhartia Axa, 01 Synergy, Arena Animation, HCL, Mohali, Gtech Softwares, Jetking Infotrain Ltd, Meritnation, Rockman Industries Ltd, Enest, Limited, Netmax Technologies Pvt Ltd, Gurdev Fincap Pvt Ltd and many others will be visiting the campus. Students from various streams like MBA, BBA , BCA and BTech (electronics and communication), computer science, information technology, mechanical engineering, automobile engineering can register themselves till 11 am.

Programme ends

A six-week programme in ASP.NET technology concluded at Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology on Tuesday. About 36 MCA students attended the programme.

Students excel PTU has declared MBA fourth semester result of 2010-2012 batch. Students of Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology (GNIMT), Gujarkhan, have performed well with pass percentage of 98.3 per cent. Within the first divisions, 83 students got more than 70 per cent, 20 students secured more than 80 per cent while two students got more than 90 per cent. The highest marks were obtained by Shivani Mehta who scored 91.5 per cent, Mehak Jain stood second with 91.2 per cent while Ramandeep Kaur Cheema secured the third position with 89.3 per cent. Meanwhile, students of Sri Aurobindo College of Commerce and Management excelled in BCom III (honours) examination conducted by Panjab University. Purnima Satija stood first with 79 per cent. Niharika Mehta topped the university with 86.91 per cent while Jasleen Kaur stood fourth with 84.18 per cent. In BBA III, Swati Thapar secured the third position with 83.12 per cent. Utsav Gahtori of BBA II stood third with 79.59 per cent while Amit Gupta got the seventh rank in the university with 77.79 per cent. 



PAU notes

Books sharpen children's memory: Experts
"With Internet, video games and television surrounding children today, the idea of sitting down with a book has almost vanished," said home scientists of the department of human development of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). Reading is considered as a solitary pursuit and is not preferred in comparison with interactive chats on the Internet. The experts said there was an over-riding desire among youths to spend more time with their friends than to remain at home and read. Emphasising on inculcating reading habits among children, Dr Rippen G Jassal said, "It makes them smarter, boosts their analytical skills, sharpens their memory and improves their vocabulary, writing skills, concentration and focus. "Reading fires an imagination in a child," she said. Referring to the ways of involving children in the reading process, Dr Seema Sharma said it was important to find out the interests of children and exactly know what they were looking for in books. "When a child is reading for the first time, make sure there are interesting things and colourful pictures," she advised.

Entrance tests

With the successful conduct of all entrance tests, the first phase of admission at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) is complete. The university conducted the Common Entrance Test (CET) for admission to undergraduate programmes; Agricultural Aptitude Test (AAT) for admission to BSc agriculture; Masters Entrance Test (MET) for various postgraduate programmes. Dr Baldev Singh Sohal said all UG and PG programmes attracted a large number of students this year (session 2012-13) as compared to last year (2011-12). A record number of students - 4,232 appeared for CET this year whereas 3,117 candidates appeared last year. For AAT, as many as 1,209 candidates appeared for 70 seats. For various postgraduate programmes, 979 candidates appeared whereas the figure was 753 last year (2011-12 session). — TNS



Ludhiana scan

DVD out

A DVD on Baba Banda Singh Bahadur was released by Jagdev Singh Jasowal, founder, Baba Banda Singh Bahadur International Foundation, and Krishan Kumar Bhawa, president of the foundation, on Tuesday.

CPI district conference

The 21st district conference of the Communist Party of India (CPI) pledged to strengthen the organisational base so as to meet the challenges faced by the country in the wake of neo-liberal policies, which had brought economy of the country to doldrums. It also vowed to launch a struggle against mafia groups and attempts to spread fundamentalism in the state. A presidium of Dr Arun Mitra, OP Meha, Amrik Singh, Gurnam Gill and Jit Kumari presided over. Kartar Singh Bowani was unanimously re-elected district secretary while Dr Arun Mitra and DP Maur were named as assistant secretaries. Dr Joginder Dayal, member of the Central Executive Committee, and Nirmal Singh Dhaliwal, state secretary, participated as observers. The district meet also elected a 63-member district council and another 15-member delegation to participate in the state conference to be held in Ludhiana from July 7 to 9.

Campaign launched

The Youth Akali Dal will start a campaign to conserve and purify environment. Gurdeep Singh Gosha, a leader of the party, said the party would depute workers in different areas of the city. He said without making the city green, it was not possible to purify the environment of the city. Plants would be taken care of and more saplings would be planted," he said.

Healthcare for needy

Dr Ramesh, medical director, Punarjot Eye Bank Society, said after the complete success of project Sanjah-I for diabetic, and Sanjah-II for glaucoma awareness, the society in coordination with the IMA and Government health department had started a new project Sanjah-III under which health care will be provided to all needy patients. He stated this while laying the foundation stone of eye care and lasik centre. — Tribune Reporters



Goldsmith flees with Rs 8 lakh gold 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
The city police has booked a goldsmith who fled with raw gold worth over Rs 8 lakh belonging to a jeweller in the Fountain Chowk area.

According to Saurav Jain, a jeweller, Manoranjan Ghai of New Shivpuri was working as a goldsmith at his workshop located on the top floor of the jewellery showroom.

Jain used to hand over raw gold to Manoranjan for making ornaments. A few days ago, he had given the accused gold articles for preparing a designer ornament.

Jain claimed that the incident took place on Sunday, when he was visiting Kalka along with his family members.

In his absence, Manoranjan visited the workshop and fled with gold worth Rs 8 lakh.

The matter came to light last evening when Manorajan did not return to the workshop and his phone remained switched off. Gold was also missing from the workshop.

The jeweller then visited the Manoranjan's house, but he was not at home. It was latter in the evening that Jain informed the police about the incident.

SHO Division No. 8 Navreet Singh said they had received a complaint and had started investigation.

The police has registered a case under Section 408, IPC, against Manoranjan.

Jeweller was not in town

The matter came to light last evening when the jeweller returned from Kalka along with his family. The suspect, Manorajan Ghai, did not return to the workshop and his phone remained switched off. Gold was found missing from the workshop at the showroom.



Patwari, two others held with 1.7 kg opium
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
The police arrested a patwari and his two accomplices for their alleged involvement in an opium trafficking case here today.

The incident caused embarrassment to district administration employees, who were busying observing International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

The accused identified as Rohit Kumar, a resident of Balachaur in SBS Nagar, Mandeep Singh of Haibowal and Jagroop Singh of Thrike village were arrested by the police from near the Civil Hospital and 1.7 kg opium was seized from the possession of the accused.

According to the investigating officer, Ravinder Prasad, the accused were travelling in a car and on seeing the police party, they tried to reverse the vehicle in order to flee.

This caused suspicion and the police party managed to intercept their car. During a search, opium was recovered from the vehicle.

Sources said they had taken the contraband for personal use.

The police has booked them under Sections 18, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act. They were produced before the court and remanded in custody.



Habit-forming drugs seized
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
A team of the health department today seized habit-forming drugs from a medical store at Shiumla Puri.

Drug Inspector Sukhbeer Chand said, "I raided Surjeet Medical Store at Shimla Puri and seized habit-forming drugs, including 3,300 capsules of proxyvon, spasmotrxyon and 300 tablets of lomotel and alprazolam. As many as 10 bottles of cough syrup, including five bottles of rexcoff and five bottles of cirex, were also seized."

He said that yesterday three samples of drugs were taken by the health department from Gumber Medical Store at Shivpuri.



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